When I was in the initial stages of planning the perennial garden in 2002, one goal was to have the garden as low maintenance as possible. A choice I made to that end is to have lilies of various colors and sizes throughout the beds.
Lilies are easy to grow, are steadfast performers year after year, and come in many colors and sizes. While there are many kinds of lilies, one of the more common distinctions for the home gardener is Oriental vs Asiatic. How to tell them apart?
Asiatics face upwards or outwards.
Oriental blooms face down. But so do Trumpet Lilies, of which I have several spectacular specimens.
Asiatics have many leaves and Orientals have fewer.
Asiatics bloom earlier as well, June and July while the Oriental bloom later, July into August.
For the most part I have Asiatic lilies.
I have a few trumpet lilies. They can grow very large. This plant is easily 6' tall!
While these plants can be expensive, I have found a good way to get them on the cheap. Pick them up late in the year from the nurseries or garden centers after they have already bloomed. Most people don't want to purchase a plain stick that has no blossoms. However, if you are willing to wait until next year, you can often get them at less than half the original cost. A few time I have purchased lilies that had already been pruned down to about 6 inches. a stick in a pot. But put them in the garden in late summer, early autumn and enjoy the blooms the next warm season.
Make a space in the garden for lilies!
Until next time, Keep Digging & Eat Well!
The Gastronomic Gardener
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